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Household Consumption Expenditure Survey (HCES) 2022-23

A new methodology with some issues

Source: TH

Relevance: GS 2: Governance.

Mains: Most of the unemployment in India is structural in nature. Examine the methodology adopted to compute unemployment in the country and suggest improvements. (2023)

Overview of HCES 2022-23

  • Release of Key Findings: The NSS Office shares findings from the Household Consumption Expenditure Survey (HCES) 2022-23, presenting nationwide average household monthly per capita consumption expenditure (MPCE) for rural and urban areas.
  • State-level Estimates: Detailed estimates for each State and Union Territory (UT) in rural and urban sectors.Household Consumption Expenditure Survey 2022-23: An Analysis - PWOnlyIAS

Changes and Implications

  • Updated Coverage: Reflects recent consumption trends with an expanded item list.
  • Questionnaire Restructure: Split into three sections, enhancing accuracy, particularly for food, consumables, services, and durable goods.
  • Methodological Challenges: Changes in village and urban block stratification may affect sample representation, especially concerning affluent households.

Methodological Issues

  • Questionnaire Splitting Impact: Hinders comparison with past data, necessitating a reconsideration of the approach.
  • Recommendation: Return to a single-visit, traditional methodology for improved comparability.
  • Proposal for Rich Household Frame: Utilize administrative data to identify affluent households for dedicated surveys, ensuring their adequate representation.

Importance and Recommendations

  • Data Gap Bridging: HCES 2022-23 addresses long-standing data deficiencies, aiding poverty estimation and policy formulation.
  • Methodological Improvement: Vital for ensuring data reliability and comparability.
  • Enhanced Representation: Additional modules and focused surveys can improve data quality across different socioeconomic segments.


  • HCES 2022-23 fills crucial gaps, shedding light on consumption patterns.
  • Methodological alterations pose hurdles to data comparability and sample accuracy.
  • Addressing these challenges is pivotal for robust estimates and informed policymaking.


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